Sometimes I catch myself with something I know to be true, but that I haven’t ACTIVELY thought about. For example, the Winter Meetings that kick off next week? We haven’t had them in three years. I know there was a pandemic and then a lockout, but my brain hadn’t taken the extra second to think about the fact that this will be somewhat fresh again. I am REALLY looking forward to it.
Well, assuming there is actual activity …
- If you missed it, I wrote about the lack of activity around baseball this month, and why it is simultaneously completely expected and kind of surprising. Here’s hoping we get SOMETHING interesting to discuss today. It doesn’t even have to be the Cubs. I just want something to dig my teeth into.
- Old friend gets new gig, brings back memories, sends me down rabbit hole:
- Brown, then 27, actually hit a really strong .291/.348/.501/120 wRC+ for the Cubs that year, after which he was traded to the Pirates for Jon Lieber. That one worked out pretty well for the Cubs, who wound up getting a whopping 16.4 WAR out of the workhorse Lieber over the next four seasons. Of course, for Lieber, it was unfortunate timing, since those were exactly the four years between Cubs playoff appearances. (Or was he cursed? Lieber did return to the Cubs in 2008, but he was left off that playoff roster.)
- As for Brown, he struggled with the Pirates in 1999, was sent to the Marlins before 2000, and then was part of a three-team trade at mid-season, with his big league career ending soon thereafter. That trade? It brought Brown back to the Cubs in exchange for Dave Martinez. Yes, THAT Dave Martinez.
- No, you’re not losing your mind – Martinez was traded away from the Cubs in his younger days all the way back in 1988 (no comment), but actually came back via trade in early 2000. It was a minor swap with the Devil Rays, who picked up Mark Guthrie. Martinez was almost immediately traded by the Cubs to the Rangers as part of that Brown deal, and then the Rangers later traded Martinez to the Blue Jays. And yes, playing for four teams in a single season is indeed an MLB record. From Wikipedia: “Since 1901, the previous players to play for four MLB teams in a season were Frank Huelsman (1904), Willis Hudlin (1940), Paul Lehner (1951), Wes Covington (1961), Mike Kilkenny (1972), and Dave Kingman (1977). Dan Miceli (2003) and José Bautista (2004) later achieved the feat.”
- Well that was quite a rabbit hole to go down! Anyway, the newsy part is that Brown going to be the Marlins’ new hitting coach under manager Skip Schumaker. Brown had previously been one of the Dodgers’ two hitting coaches.
- If only he could’ve limited his career to facing the Cubs, he would’ve been an MLB Hall of Famer:
- Aquino, who is reportedly getting over a million bucks, hit a whopping .280/.346/.710/167 wRC+ over his 31 games against the Cubs. Against everyone else, he hit just .201/.275/.391/71 wRC+. The Cubs, alone, bumped his wRC+ by 13 points!
- Julio Teheran, who has not pitched regularly in the big leagues since 2019, got a minor league deal with the Padres:
- This is incredible, if you are among those who are Very Online and remember the original tweet:
- Ian Happ, Coffee Magnate:
- In all seriousness, though, I get Connect’s espresso roast beans on the regular, and doing my own thing at home has replaced my Starbucks habit. It just tastes a lot better. Yes, I am one of THOSE guys now.
- Brian Robinson’s Big Hat made me think of Pedro Strop’s Big Glove:
- It’s Cyber Monday, which means a range of new deals at Amazon if you have some holiday shopping to do. #ad